The day has finally arrived: you’re going to get your braces off and reveal your brand new teeth to the world. But what do you need to do to be prepared? Here’s a list of things to consider when you approach the big day.

Set the appointment date strategically.

Got a big party to attend? Expecting a dinner celebration with friends and family? This might not be the best time to decide to make a big change like getting your braces removed. Make sure you set the appointment on a day when you can let your teeth rest for the remainder of the morning, afternoon, or evening.

Don’t get too excited—your appointment could be subject to change.

Like anything in life, sometimes scheduling can get in the way of other plans. Make sure you don’t get yourself too excited for a single day. It’s possible your teeth could need a little bit longer or that you need to reschedule due to conflicts.

Come with your teeth clean and ready.

The maintenance of proper oral hygiene is still key, even when you’re transitioning from having braces to not having braces. Come to your appointment with your teeth clean and ready.

Understand that the removal process will take a little time.

While removing the braces themselves might not take a long time, your orthodontist may have additional tasks to complete after your hardware is removed—this may include adding a permanent retainer to your teeth to prevent them from shifting after you’re done with having braces.

Know what sensations to expect during the procedure.

Since your orthodontist will be removing the device using special pliers, you may experience slight discomfort during the procedure, such as pressure or tension, or hear odd sounds like cracking. This is completely normal. 

After your brackets and wires are removed, the orthodontist will scrape your teeth to remove any remaining materials, a procedure which could cause some discomfort and interesting sound effects.

You will likely make a mold for your retainer.

Now that your braces are completely removed, your orthodontist will walk you through the steps of creating a mold to fit your retainer. Most patients should expect to wear a retainer for up to six months following the removal of their braces.

It might take a while to get used to smooth, exposed teeth!

Once you’re fully braces-free, remember that it will take time to get used to the feeling of your teeth without wires or brackets. You’ll need to adjust the way you eat and smile, but lucky for you, you’ll likely enjoy the sweet taste of freedom more than anything else!